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The Copenhagen Connection: 09/25/08
The Copenhagen Connection by Elizabeth Peters is one of her few novels that isn't part of a series. Most of her stand alone mysteries are published under her other nom de plume "Barbara Michaels." Although it was her Amelia Peabody series that first got my attention, it's been her stand alone novels that have kept me reading.
Elizabeth Jones (the closest I've ever seen to Peters writing a Mary-Sue) ends up working for her long time hero, Margaret Rosenberg, an author of historical romances. She's also apparently an archeologist (sound familiar?) with expertise in the life and times of Queen Margaret of Denmark. Unfortunately for Elizabeth (and the reader), Margaret goes missing leaving her stuck with grumpy Christian Rosenberg. What follows is two hundred pages of Elizabeth and Christian traipsing all over Copenhagen trying to find Margaret, bickering all the way. Then comes another hundred pages of them being prisoners and finally seventy five pages (give or take) of a genuinely fun caper.
Coming just after the second Amelia Peabody book, The Curse of the Pharaohs (1981), and a year before the third Vicky Bliss novel, Silhouette in Scarlet, The Copenhagen Connection relies on a shtick she was developing for both series: the strong-willed feisty female protagonist and her equally stubborn pig-headed male counterpart. There is also a hint of things to come with Amelia as the matriarch of a crime fighting / Egyptologist family in the widely eccentric but highly skilled Margaret Rosenberg.
I don't think I knew that Elizabeth Peters was Barbara Michaels! This is the only stand-alone of hers I've read, but I enjoyed it almost as much as I enjoy the Amelia Peabody series.
Comment #2: Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 12:01:33
I figured it out a few years ago when I recognized the publicity shot of Barbara Michaels as being the same one used for one of her Elizabeth Peters books. Her real name is Barbara Mertz but she only publishes nonfiction books under that name.